May News Update

This month was more of the same for the most part. Work on the mines from last month continued. The scope increased slightly, hence the longer turn around time. As it stands, I have one more thing to program for the mines then I just have to create the randomized chunks to fill in the levels. This is arguably the easy part. Programing new elements is usually what takes longer as problem solving is usually involved. Once I’m done programming things however it should just be a matter of piecing the terrain together. That can be a bit tedious but it usually doesn’t take long.

In regards to the mines there are now several different things you can find within them. Some are good for you, others bad. As I said before, once combat is added on top of these systems I think it will be a fairly robust section of gameplay. The only thing of note that isn’t really a spoiler is the addition of a minimap for the mines. I was playtesting a bit and realized that with the reduced vision you normally have in the mines along with the randomized layouts I could hardly navigate. A minimap feature has now been added that will fill in as you explore each floor and it will keep track of some things like where the entrance and exit are. I don’t want to put too many details on the minimap so it will probably just stay as is. I figure if I start adding tons of icons it will be confusing, and probably also take away some aspects of exploration.

Mines aside, there has been a lot of work on sprites, specifically UI. I’ve mentioned a lot of things over the past few months, fisheries, exchange shops, fermenting, etc. While all of these things were coded the sprites were still, mostly, my own “expertly made” temporary sprite work. Needless to say, when I draw things, everything is a box. Thankfully, my artist has been hard at work making UIs and other things that won’t make your eyes bleed. While it isn’t very difficult work on my end, I have been implementing a lot of this stuff this month which has taken up a chunk of time as some things have required me to rework existing UI and other minor changes.

On this same note one of the things I did was add in a new furniture set, which is a rather detailed process. Personally, I think its pretty cool though. That said, I know furniture is more a cosmetic thing at the moment. I’ve had an idea recently that I am, admittedly, ripping from My Time At Portia. In that game, you could decorate your home and the items you placed would give you stat buffs. I wasn’t a fan of it giving you particular stat increases as I feel it would influence you to decorate your house a particular way in order to get certain buffs. However, I think I’ll add some sort of well rested buff you can get based on decorations. It will probably be some sort of general boost that has tiers based on how many objects you have placed that way there is at least some sort of practical incentive to decorate your home.

All that aside, I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this in these updates before, but I’ve finally got clay squared away as well. A more common question I see is how to get clay. Which, if you are that person right now, the answer is to dig with a shovel in the mines. This in general is a bad solution to this problem and it is being changed. In this next patch, mining nodes in the swamp will give clay instead of stone. Alongside this, one of the areas I am developing includes a clay pit for a steadier supply of the stuff, however you’ll have to reach it first.

While on the subject of areas I’ve also been working to get the mill interior done. It is, all in all, a pretty small addition, but it will change how some things work. Mostly with cooking as instead of just making specific ingredients like wheat and spices at your cooking station you’ll take things to the mill to grind them up. As the mill is a little out of the way, I may also consider adding a machine for your farm that you can use to mill objects but it would be much later.

That sort of thing falls into engineering. To briefly explain, I’ve tinkered with the idea of adding some basic engineering stuff to this game as a sort of endgame mechanic. I can’t say much on the specifics, and to be fair I don’t know if I’ll even do it. However, the general idea that I had was to have a couple of large-scale endgame projects that would require a ton of money and resources. While you could do them the traditional way, engineering would sort of come in to increase your production for these things. Like I said though this is entirely theoretical. There are tons of things I still need to do before I can even consider adding that. Like for instance the whole being able to have a boat and sail around the bay area. Fun fact, there are four sets of fish (one for each season) for the deep ocean (where you would fish when out at sea). There’s currently no way to access them yet though since you can’t get a boat. Ah well, maybe one day. I’ve gone off on a tangent though, the point is that I’m still considering some larger features for the game in the far-off future.

In any case, that’s really about it for this month. Not a lot of concrete stuff to say I know, but that’s the nature of large projects and additions, a lot of work that can be summarized in a few sentences. I hope you all had a good month, thanks again for playing and sticking with me through this long development process, hopefully next month there will be something a little more exciting to talk about.